Employee claims Creative Werks broke state privacy law by making workers scan fingerprints on punch clock

By Noddy A. Fernandez | Feb 28, 2019

CHICAGO — A laborer has filed a class action lawsuit against packaging company Creative Werks, claiming the company violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act by making employees scan their fingerprints when punching in and out of work shifts.

Leon Brown, on behalf of himself and all other persons similarly situated, filed a complaint on Feb. 15 in Cook County Circuit Court against Creative Werks LLC.

According to the complaint, between 2016 and November 2018, throughout his employment with defendant, Brown claims he and other workers were required to use a biometric time clock system to record their time worked. But workers were never given the opportunity to authorize the scans nor were they given written notice of the company's policies governing how it would store and use the scanned data.

By requiring employees to use their fingerprints to record their time, defendant ensured that one employee could not clock in for another. However, the biologically unique identifiers, like fingerprints, can never be changed when compromised and thus subject plaintiff and the class victims of identity theft to heightened risk of loss, the complaint alleges.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment for liquidated monetary damages, award of attorneys' fees, costs incurred, and further relief. He is represented by Douglas Werman and Zachary Flowerree of Werman Salas PC in Chicago.

The defendant could face statutory damages of $1,000-$5,000 per violation under the BIPA law.

Cook County Circuit Court Case No. 19-CH-02030.

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